EMU's Fall 2021 Operations

The University looks forward to a fall 2021 season that looks more like semesters prior to COVID-19. Students will enjoy a variety of options for classes (in-person, hybrid, and remote) numerous opportunities for housing, and various on-campus events.

At the same time, the University will continue to take a common-sense approach using multiple strategies to promote campus safety. Our practices have been effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and we remain committed to providing a safe environment for students, employees, and visitors. 

The policies outlined below will be updated as appropriate and consistent with applicable government guidance. 

  • Daily Health Screening

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    All employees will be required to complete a COVID PASS Daily Health Screening every day to identify symptoms of COVID-19.

    The symptoms of COVID-19 include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    This strategy is used effectively by hospitals, grocery stores and other organizations. This system requires everyone’s participation to succeed. Compliance is verified at check-in stations located inside buildings.

    The COVID PASS Daily Health Screening form is available here for use on a computer or mobile device. The University recommends completing the form before you leave your residence each day. For individuals who arrive on campus before completing the screen and do not have a smartphone, the form may be completed electronically at check-in desks.

    Employees who pass the health screening are cleared to be on campus for that day. Employees may be required to verify that they passed the health screening before entering a campus building.

    Employees who do not pass the health screening are required to stay off-campus, follow instructions provided in the screening, and notify their supervisor that they are ill.

    Faculty and staff may follow up with the EMU Telehealth Clinic with questions about their screening ([email protected], 734.487.3865).

  • Reporting COVID-19 cases, close contacts, and symptoms

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    All employees and students are required to complete the University’s online COVID Report Form if you meet any of the following criteria:

    1. You are known to have COVID-19 by medical diagnosis or by testing positive - even if you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19.

    2. You have been informed that you were in close contact with another person who was medically diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19.

    3. You have any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: fever/chills, cough shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, new rash.

    4. You have learned that an EMU Community member (student, faculty, staff, employee) has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been medically diagnosed with COVID-19, has been exposed to COVID-19, or is exhibiting symptoms.

    If you learn of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you must complete the COVID-19 Report Form, but you may not share that information with other individuals.

  • Individuals who become ill while on campus

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    If an employee develops symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, they must notify their supervisor immediately that they are ill, make arrangements to return home as soon as possible, and avoid contact with other individuals as much as possible.

    Any individual who has symptoms of COVID-19, or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19, should complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may contact their primary health care provider or the University Telehealth Clinic (734.487.3865 or [email protected]).

    Most of EMU’s workforce has access to paid sick time as outlined in Board Policy 3.2.5 (for non-bargained-for employees) and the collective bargaining agreements (for employees in a collective bargaining unit). The University does not retaliate against employees (through discharge, discipline or otherwise) who stay home or leave work when they are sick or at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19. University Human Resources is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and investigating allegations that this policy was violated.

  • COVID-19 vaccination requirements

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    Our goal is to have every member of the campus who is able to do so to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines are safe and effective, and the lack of vaccination is the primary reason why COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state and nation. Toward that end, EMU has enacted several policies and programs to promote vaccination. 

    Students living in University student housing facilities must be vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline for housing residents to receive their final vaccination shot and verify their vaccination status through the University’s COVID Vax Certification system is Thursday, September 30, 2021. Students who comply with the program will be eligible to receive a prize through the University’s “Get the Vax to Win” program. You may learn more about the vaccination requirement for on-campus housing residents here.

    Other students participating in certain activities that create a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure are also required to be vaccinated, including student-athletes, students participating in Marching Band, and students participating in certain academic programs. Those students will be notified of their vaccination requirements and deadlines.

    Beyond the students listed above who are required to be vaccinated, any other student who attends any on-campus class is required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or, if not vaccinated, undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Testing is available at EMU’s campus testing center (appointments required) or you may upload a test result to the portal provided in an email you will receive notifying you of the testing requirements.

    Students and employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for incentives through the EMU “Get the Vax to Win” program. Student prizes include a $5,000 credit to your student account, free semester of housing, free parking pass, a new computer, and Bookstore gift cards. Prizes for employees include cash awards and dollars to be used at EMU Dining facilities. You may learn more about this exciting program here.
    You can learn more about the safety of vaccines, and where to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, here.

  • Testing for COVID-19

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    Employees may be required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing. Testing is available at the campus testing center (appointments are required). 

    Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must (a) leave campus immediately, taking care to avoid contact with other people (or, if they are not on campus, they should stay home), (b) notify their immediate supervisor that they are ill, and (c) complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

    Individuals who learn that a student, co-worker, visitor or contract employee who recently visited campus has tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

    Other than completing the COVID-19 Report Form, employees should not notify anyone about a positive test for COVID-19. Other individuals on campus are notified as appropriate pursuant to government protocols for contact tracing and notification.

    An employee who has questions about possible exposure to COVID-19 and how that impacts their ability to come to campus should contact the EMU Telehealth Clinic ([email protected], 734-487-3865).

    Any individual who has symptoms of, or believes they may have been exposed to, COVID-19, should contact their primary health care provider or the University Telehealth Clinic (734.487.3865 or [email protected]). In this case, an employee must also complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

  • Face Masks 

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    All members of the campus community (including all students, employees, and visitors) must wear a face mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except in the following circumstances in which indoor masking is not required:

    • You are an instructor teaching in a classroom, you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and you have reported your vaccination status to the University here. Instructors may not waive the requirement that all students in the classroom wear face masks regardless of vaccination status.

    • You have a disability-based University accommodation from wearing a face mask (employees requesting an accommodation should contact [email protected] and students requesting an accommodation should contact [email protected]).

    • You are alone in a private office, living space, or private motor vehicle with the door closed, or in another similarly isolated space.

    • You are actively eating, drinking, or swimming.

    • You are undergoing a physical exam of your mouth, nose, or throat by a medical professional.

    • You are attending an event that has been approved for a special exemption. Requests to consider exemptions for events must be submitted to the Office of Conference & Event Services (CES) at [email protected].

    Face masks are not required outdoors regardless of vaccination status.

    Individual University employees and offices cannot waive the University face mask requirement -- including the requirement that face masks be worn by all students in classrooms -- without the approval of the President’s Office. When necessary, instructors should reference and follow the University’s Guide to Classroom Management in the event an individual in the classroom refuses to comply with the University’s face mask policy. 

    We hope that this face mask mandate can be temporary. The best way to return to a sense of normalcy is for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You may learn about opportunities for vaccination and the vaccine’s safety here

    Students who violate this policy may be subject to the University’s Code of Community Responsibility. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. 

    When choosing a face mask, consider how well it fits, how well it filters air, and how many layers it has. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and around the edges of the mask. Ensure that it fits snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask and make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides of the mask. If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath. Face masks are available in a variety of locations, including at check-in stations located in many campus buildings.

    A three-layer mask provides enhanced protection against COVID-19. The EMU-branded face masks contain three layers. When a three-layer mask is not available, wearing two masks, such as a cloth mask over a surgical mask, can provide added protection, particularly if cloth masks are thin or one layer. KN95/N95 masks may be worn, but they require customized fitting and are therefore not recommended. Gaiter coverings (which are worn around the neck instead of over the ears) and vented masks are not permitted. A face shield is not a substitute for a face mask; a face shield should only be worn with a face mask.


    Face Mask Do's and Don'ts

  • Physical Distancing

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    All members of the campus community must engage in three feet of physical distancing in classrooms and other indoor venues regardless of vaccination status. Three feet is the minimum safe distance. 

    In outdoor areas, individuals are not required to maintain specific levels of distance, but it is always recommended that individuals carefully consider the density of people and the space maintained between individuals.  

  • Hygiene

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    Good hygiene practices help reduce the spread of respiratory and other viruses, including COVID-19.

    • All individuals should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. At a minimum, individuals should wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom, touching anything in a public area or blowing their nose. The Custodial Services Office will ensure that public restrooms are equipped with soap.
    • Use hand sanitizer when needed (but not in lieu of hand washing when soap and water are available). Hand sanitizer stations will be in all buildings and offices may purchase hand sanitizer for use by employees and visitors.
    • Do not cough into the air. Instead, cover your mouth when you cough using your sleeve or a tissue (but not your hand). If you use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw away the tissue after use. If wearing a face covering, do not remove it to cough or sneeze.
    • Blow your nose using a tissue and immediately throw away the tissue after use. Individual offices may purchase tissues for use by employees and visitors.
  • Gloves

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    In general, wearing gloves is not recommended to protect against COVID-19. The University will therefore not require most individuals to wear gloves. Some employees may be required to wear gloves based on the nature of their work.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting

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    All public areas in campus buildings (e.g., restrooms, hallways, classrooms, offices) are subject to more frequent and in-depth cleaning. For example, disinfectant electrostatic fogging is used in large areas and spaces that are difficult to clean using traditional methods (such as locker rooms), and touchpoints (e.g., light switches, elevator buttons, desks, and door handles) are cleaned daily. The standards for each building vary based on the building size, layout, use, and other relevant criteria, and cleaning standards may evolve depending on the time of year, day of the week, government regulations, and other criteria.

    Classrooms are supplied with hand wipes. Instructors may also request hand sanitizer for classrooms

    As part of the layered approach to providing a safe campus environment, EMU applied a special microbial polymer to create a protective covering on hard and soft surfaces in classrooms, public areas, and elsewhere. Used by many hospitals and other public universities in Michigan, the covering creates a long-lasting film on the treated surface that is proven to kill many viruses upon contact.

  • Ventilation

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    The University has modified building ventilation systems to use ventilation filters with higher ratings and to increase the use of outside fresh air. The type and number of ventilation filters used varies depending on the type of work performed in the building and any limitations on the building’s filtration systems. Fans should not be used in classrooms and other interior public spaces.

  • Class instruction

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    EMU is offering a full selection of courses during the 2021-22 academic year. The majority of course selections will be offered in-person, but there are also ample options for online asynchronous, online synchronous, or hybrid format course selections. Decisions about how individual courses are delivered will be made at the college and department level to ensure that each course’s pedagogical needs were addressed and that students receive access to the excellent education they expect. The Office of the Provost worked with Deans to execute this process.  Room scheduling is managed centrally by the Office of the Provost.

  • Dining

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    EMU Dining developed a comprehensive plan to enhance health and safety for customers and employees. The plan incorporates their unique needs as a food service provider and the largest employer of students on campus. Changes include:

    • an increased focus on speed to reduce congregation
    • mobile ordering and to-go options across campus
    • plexiglass at high-contact customer-service stations
    • contactless payment and hands-off at all registers
    • cashless campus(except at Chick-Fil-A)
    • digital payment and communication tools
    • hand sanitizer stations in all dining hubs
    • self-service areas will be frequently sanitized and utensils changed frequently 
    • extensive training for associates
    • frequent sanitizing of high-touch point areas
  • Athletics

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    All student-athletes (including students participating in Marching Band, Cheer Team, and Dance Team), and some Athletics employees, are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students and employees will be notified if they are required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing. 

  • Remote work and flexible work schedules

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    The Remote Work Group developed new policies and practices to support remote work by non-instructional staff. These policies and practices will support the flexibility needed when considering remote work arrangements for staff alongside individual office needs and state and federal health-related workplace mandates. Staff who have not been directed to work remotely but nonetheless request remote work arrangements must have them approved by their supervisors.

    A variety of tools exist to support employees who are assigned to work remotely. For example, to date the University:

    • doubled its VPN capacity;
    • purchased a campus-wide Zoom license;
    • permits employees to ask to bring desktop computer equipment home; and
    • ramped up use of softphone software that allows employees to make and receive telephone calls from their computer using their University telephone number, and voicemail forwarding to email.

    Faculty and staff requesting medical accommodation or leave to work from home or teach online pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or any other available leave should submit such requests to University Human Resources at [email protected].

  • Research labs

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    Research labs have been re-opening on a phased approach pursuant to applicable State of Michigan orders. Their detailed plans and procedures include special protocols for training, cleaning, physical distancing and other standards.

  • Visitors and Events

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    Special limitations and restrictions on visitors to campus are in place. A “one-size fits all” approach will not work. Instead, specific protocols have been developed for specific types of campus events, including athletic events, housing visitors, student organization events, and community gatherings. You may contact [email protected] if you have questions about a specific event.